Sensationalist media coverage of gene therapy provokes ethical concerns

NHGRI e
(Credit: Jane Ades, NHGRI)

Media coverage of trials related to gene therapy has portrayed the clinical research rollercoaster.  [Recently], The New York Times ran an unusually lengthy and high-profile series of articles…[that] describe the promising aspects of engineering one’s own immune system to fight cancer, including dramatic stories of tumors “melting away” and promises of complete remission.

Yet commentary on the ethical implications of these events has been scant, and these events raise…concerns about what bioethicists call “therapeutic misconception” – vulnerable patients seeking enrollment in a clinical trial with the mistaken belief that the gene therapy is approved by the FDA to be safe and effective…

Articles (here and here) characterized…deaths [in clinical trials] and the corresponding swift response as a “bump in the road,” myopically questioning how it would impact the clinical trial progression and corporate financial outlook. Minimizing patient deaths that may have resulted from the gene therapy rather than their underlying illness is dehumanizing and ethically inappropriate, even if we reason that these patients were near the end of life.

ADVERTISEMENT

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Questions about Deaths in Cancer Trials using Gene-Altered Cells

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend